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 Alfa Romeo B.A.T. 9 photo
Image credits: © Alfa Romeo.

1955 Alfa Romeo B.A.T. 9

In 1955 Bertone turned in the final design for the B.A.T. project, a series of prototypes which represented the peak of styling creativity at the time. The B.A.T. 9 did away with the marked wing lines of the previous models in favour of a cleaner, more sober line. The tail fins, which in the other two models, 5 and 7, had a real wing-like look, were sized down into two small metal plates. Bertone transformed the highly creative styling of the two previous B.A.T. models into design credibility, abandoning the extremes of the other designs. The more rational, less artistic design of this prototype, however, does nothing to diminish Bertone's creative contribution to the Italian school of bodywork design.

Source - Bertone
The famous and renowned coachbuilder Bertone was tasked by Alfa Romeo to build an aerodynamic experimentation to measure the effects of streamlining on a car's performance. Scaglione was tasked with aiding in the creating of the design. The vehicle was dubbed the B.A.T. 5 representing 'Berlinetta Aerodinamica Tecnica'. 'Berlinetta' means 'small sedan' or more precisely, 'coupe.' The design featured rear fenders and curved fins, truly a unique design. It was built upon an Alfa Romeo 1900 chassis.

The B.A.T. 7 was created a few years later and was again an experiment in aerodynamics. The B.A.T. 7 was even more radical in design and was adorned with very large curved tailfins.

The final B.A.T. Concept, the B.A.T. 9 was completed in 1955. It continued the experimentation with aerodynamics but not as exaggerated as the prior models. The body styling took into account future production requirements and is arguably the most attractive of the B.A.T. automobiles.

Today, all three B.A.T. Concept Cars belong to the Cars International Ltd., a specialty dealer located in Canary Wharf, London UK.

Another prototype vehicle, the Giulietta Sprint Speciale was introduced to the public at the 1957 Turin Motor Show and later went into limited production until mid-1959. The vehicle was based on the B.A.T. cars and built by Franco Scaglione, Bertone's chief designer.

Alfa Romeo provided a five-speed gearbox and a powerful four-cylinder engine that produced more than 90 horsepower, good enough to propel the car to a top speed of 125 mph. The performance and handling aspects were phenomenal. The bodywork was steel with an alloy hood and trunk lid. The interior was elegant, comfortable, and functional. There was adequate space for luggage.


By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2007

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